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Messages - narvin

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The Pub / Re: awk sucks
« on: February 10, 2011, 09:30:32 AM »
Why the hell would awk return a value of 1 when I say

awk '{ if ( $9 == "step" ){ print $9 }}' $mut1 > $out1

and the value in that column is 0?  Isn't this a string comparison?  Why does 0 == "step" ?  Makes no sense.  This fixed it though, after 20 minutes of trouble shooting.  Stupid awk.

awk '{ if ( $9 ~ /step/ ){ print $9 }}' $mut1 > $out1

Dunno, your first example should work.

Note that your regular expression in the second example is searching for any string containing the substring "step".  If you want to match only the entire word, you need to use /^step$/

Those of you that have experimented with hopstand - adding flame out hops and NOT chilling for a while....
any words of wisdom or experiences on how to roughly calculate IBU contributions?

I suppose time and temp are big variables, but what does it taste like to YOU?


If you listen to the Firestone Walker episode of Can You Brew It, I think the brewer said something about their flameout hops contributing 20 or 25 IBUs in an 60 minute whirlpool, or something like that.  You'd have to go back and listen to get the specifics.

The Pub / Re: Okay, 3D sucks
« on: January 11, 2011, 09:29:10 PM »
Nux Vomica is nutmeg. And ingesting it- something like a whole nut or more has effects. Interesting effects.  ;)

Or... strychnine?  Maybe that's what blue got into!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Belgian Malt sources
« on: January 08, 2011, 07:19:13 AM »
I've used both Dingemanns and MFB pilsner malts in my Belgian Tripels, Saisons, and Strong Goldens.... beers with little to no other additions other that sugar.  I haven't done a true side by side comparison, but I haven't really noticed any difference between the two.  Considering that I can get the MFB for $30 less, that's what I use.

Also, you have to consider how old that article is.  What was true of the North American malts then is not necessarily true now.  DWC is long gone, and although Dingemanns is considered a worthy sub, it's not going to be the same.  According to the pages I found, the MFB pils actually has a lower protein content, something listed as important in the original article:

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wort aeration needed?
« on: January 05, 2011, 07:49:49 AM »
I wasn't necessarily trying to single out aeration as a problem... I've just been thinking about how some of my Belgian ales recently haven't had the ester profile I like now that my process is "better".  I guess the flipside of this question is, are my starters too big?  You can't really consider one variable without the other.

I definitely want to do a side by side experiment with my next batch.  I think it might be time to do another Belgian Strong Golden... mmm.  :)

I would personally not brew with that water.  I doubt it will taste right, although I don't think the Magnesium is quite high enough to act as a laxative.  That could at least be a fun joke to play on people you don't like.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wort aeration needed?
« on: December 29, 2010, 09:15:56 AM »
I am in the camp that aerates.  Even though you've created a population of healthy yeast with high sterols, they can still use more sterols as they acclimate and multiply in the lag and growth phases.  This is especially important with higher gravity worts.  

The good thing is that you indicate that you've made a large starter.  Have you compared that estimated yeast population to one of those pitching guides such as Mr. Malty?  If you're overpitching, then the need for aeration is reduced.  If you're only marginal, then aeration is still warranted.  

Remember that the effects of aeration only last about 30 minutes according to the new book on yeast.  The yeast consume oxygen very quickly according to that book.

I definitely overpitched on the Porter by at least 10%, since it ended up being a lower gravity than I expected due to a mistake.  And although I'm usually pitching according to Mr. Malty for the Belgian ales, there are some breweries (Duvel, for example) that purposefully pitch below the standard ale rate of .75 million cells/ml/plato.  Going forward, I plan to use proper pitching rate and aeration for American or British ales, but I think I might keep experimenting with the pitching rate/aeration balance for Belgians.

Yeast and Fermentation / Wort aeration needed?
« on: December 29, 2010, 08:34:35 AM »
I'm starting to question whether I need added aeration at all for ales.  I make large, aerated, stir plate starters, so I always end up with healthy yeast. For my Belgian beers, I think I get a better flavor profile when under-aerating (and still very high attenuation - 85 - 90% on beers with sugar).  I just made a Porter with WLP002, and other than splashing in the carboy, I did no aeration -- I didn't use my aquarium pump and stone. The result was great attenuation, a clean profile with just a hint of fruity esters, and less work.  I suppose I could get the same result with a smaller starter and aeration, but what's the point?

Beer Recipes / Re: ESB recipe?
« on: December 28, 2010, 09:27:51 AM »
After searching through a bunch of recipes online, I decided to combine a couple. How does this sound:

8 lbs. Extra Pale Liquid Malt Extract  
12 oz. Crystal 60L
2 oz. Victory Malt  
2 oz. Aromatic Malt  

1.25 oz. Target - 60 minutes
.5 oz. Northern Brewer - 15 minutes
.5 oz. East Kent Goldings - 5 minutes
.5 oz. Challenger - 5 minutes
.5 oz. Challenger - dry hop in secondary

Wyeast London ESB ale yeast

The only thing outside of ESB guidelines (according to is my expected fg is 1.018 and guidelines call for 1.016. Any suggestions on how to bring that down? Or does it not really matter?  


You won't know what your FG is until you make the beer.  Any tool that tries to estimate it is just making a SWAG.

If you know from experience that your LME with that much crystal malt won't ferment down below 1.018, I would replace some of the extract with sugar. This works for any beer, and it is within the style guidelines for an ESB as well.   1/2 - 3/4 lb. of plain table sugar would work fine, but you can also use corn sugar or something like Lyle's Golden Syrup.

You can bag your hops, or make a hop stopper:

Narvin thanks for the tip.

I have reviewed the hop stopper and it looks like it will help with keeping the hops and trub under control.  I have ordered the 12 x 24 screen mesh and plan on building a hop stopper before I brew again.

So far this afternoon I have forward and reverse flushed the Therminator several times with extreamely hot water and used PBW in both directions also.  It looks like when I use the PBW, that it tends to dislodge the blockage.  It is amazing that the hop flakes keep on comming out.  So I decided to leave a solution of PBW inside the Therminator over night and will flush several more times tomorrow.  Hopefully this will clean out the plates.  Once that is completed I plan on flushing with Star San and then flushing with fresh water.   I will place the Therminator in my fermintation cabinet to help dry it out internally.  This has been a pain in the brew pot.

Again, Thanks for the Tip.

Hmm... looks like my link is dead.  You may have seen it before it disappeared, but for anyone else interested, the 12x24 screen I ordered was this:

I folded it in half, dog eared two of the corners outward where they came together to leave an opening for a dip tube, and then folded the remaining edges over twice and tapped them with a hammer to seal them. Other people have used stainless thread to seal it, but that seems like a major pain in the ass and completely unnecessary.  A ss worm gear clamp keeps the mesh on the dip tube.

The reason I like the hop stopper is that it has a large surface area, so you can use a finer mesh than a bazooka tube.  I personally have had little luck with pellet hops and the bazooka... a whirlpool helps, but once the liquid level gets low the trub becomes unsettled and ends up going right through the mesh.  I have heard that cold break can clog the hop stopper, but with a therminator you shouldn't need to recirc anyway.  Just send the output straight to your fermenter... the point of the plate chiller is to get to within 2-4 degrees of your ground water in one pass.

Another tip: If you still have debris in your therminator and don't feel comfortable with its level of cleanliness, you can bake it in the oven for an hour or so to kill any bacteria in there.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: I LOVE MIKKELLER
« on: December 28, 2010, 09:08:49 AM »
Mikkeller beers are always interesting due to his passion for experimentation.  When it comes down to what I think tastes good, though, I'm personally a little tired of "American style cutting edge brewing" when it means a kitchen sink beer with way too much alcohol, herbs, or spices. The Belgian beers I've loved were always fantastic due to balance, even when talking about a 10% beer. 

I'm hoping that this is just a phase that many new brewers are going through, much like a new beer geek who is obsessed with hop bombs.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Does WLP002 develop a large Kraeusen?
« on: December 21, 2010, 05:06:14 PM »
The yeast I hear a lot about with open fermentation is Ringwood (wlp005), also an English strain.  A local brewpub open ferments, rouses and aerates with a paddle during fermentation, and is done with primary fermentation in a few days.  They even crash cool  after primary.  Seems to go against conventional wisdom, but I taste very little diacetyl in their beers.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Does WLP002 develop a large Kraeusen?
« on: December 21, 2010, 01:32:10 PM »
It looks like egg drop soup on the stirplate after a day or two... really easy to tell when the starter is done.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mashing confusion
« on: December 20, 2010, 12:42:29 PM »
I guess I don't understand why people think there should only be one way to brew.  Why does it bother people if someone else step mashes or does decoctions?  If you are able to control your processes on your system to get the kind of beer you want, who gives a rip what someone else does?

This is the basic problem I have with the spreadsheet crowd.  If you know how to use it and it works for you, that's great.  But to then extend that to say that everyone should do that is a leap of logic that is entirely without support.

Anyone who has ever taken formal logic will recognize immediately the problems with people mistaking "there exists" for "for all".

There is more than one way to brew.  Accept it.  You'll live a happier life.

Well said. And if the science minded experts want to ignore other people's results, then that's their loss.

Not ignoring your results... just your conclusion  ;D.  Your step mash most likely has a longer time, higher water to grain ratio, and too many other different variables versus a single infusion mash to determine any cause and effect relationship.  If you like the beer you make, I wouldn't change your procedure.  But I doubt you have identified what is actually going on.

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